Josh Kaufman

Bestselling Author, Business & Self-Education


On Authenticity

“Authenticity is underrated. People forgive a multitude of sins in exchange for it. Sure, aim for perfection and professionalism when it’s called for. But don’t overlook the power that comes from being authentic, appropriate, and human."

Matt Linderman, 37signals

“Do not assume that order and stability are always good, in a society or in a universe. The old, the ossified, must always give way to new life and the birth of new things. Before the new things can be born the old must perish. This is a dangerous realization, because it tells us that we must eventually part with much of what is familiar to us. And that hurts. But that is part of the script of life. Unless we can psychologically accommodate change, we ourselves begin to die, inwardly. What I am saying is that objects, customs, habits, and ways of life must perish so that the authentic human being can live. And it is the authentic human being who matters most, the viable, elastic organism which can bounce back, absorb, and deal with the new…"

“The authentic human being is one of us who instinctively knows what he should not do, and, in addition, he will balk at doing it. He will refuse to do it, even if this brings down dread consequences to him and to those whom he loves. This, to me, is the ultimately heroic trait of ordinary people; they say no to the tyrant and they calmly take the consequences of this resistance. Their deeds may be small, and almost always unnoticed, unmarked by history. Their names are not remembered, nor did these authentic humans expect their names to be remembered. I see their authenticity in an odd way: not in their willingness to perform great heroic deeds but in their quiet refusals. In essence, they cannot be compelled to be what they are not."

Philip K. Dick, How to Build a Universe That Doesn’t Fall Apart Two Days Later

Hat tip to Matt at 37signals’ SVN for the quote.


Published: November 2, 2006 Last updated: November 2, 2006

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